HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Sunday, November 30, 2008


PHOTOS show animal-rights demonstrators (bottom) protesting foie gras on the menu at the fashionable Blanca Restaurant in Solano Beach Saturday night. Very few diners passed the protest to enter, and nobody was sitting at the bar at 8:34 pm.
Attorney Bryan Pease and animal-rights activist Kath Rogers are shown (center) talking with deputy sheriff Craig Sakowski after Blanca restaurant co-owner Seth Baas complained. The deputy rejected the restaurant's complaint and told the demonstrators "I'm not going to make you move."

Third photo (top) shows demonstrators at the Jack's La Jolla restaurant, which has recently removed foie gras from its menu in response to the animal-rights protests.

Encinitas -- 11/29/08 -- Animal-rights demonstrators hit the Blanca restaurant in Solano Beach Saturday night demanding they remove foie gras from its menu. The fatted-duck delicacy is produced by painfully force feeding ducks and geese until their livers are diseased and enlarged over 10 times.

The Animal Protection & Rescue League (APRL) of Hillcrest has been waging a campaign for several years to force high-end restaurants to remove foie gras from their menus.

The APRL has been largely successful with its continuing campaign and Jack's La Jolla recently agreed to take foie gras off its menu (see photo of APRL demontration at Jack's La Jolla earlier this year).

The Encinitas demonstration seemed successful, as very few diners were eating inside at 8:35 p.m. and nobody was drinking at the elegant bar. Every time someone opened the restaurant's front door, diners inside could easily hear the APRL demonstrators chanting 2-4-6-8, GET "FOIE GRAS" OFF YOUR PLATE!

The restaurant owners knew the APRL demonstrators were coming. One of the APRL volunteers, Lisa Osborne of Scripps Ranch, met twice with the owners and staff to describe the extreme cruelty to duck and geese in the production of foie gras.

The restaurant's owners were not impressed. Indeed, the property-management company that operates the Beachwalk shopping center where Blanca is located, even sent an open letter to the APRL saying that the protestors "must be on the (off-site) public sidewalk, not inside our shopping center" because it "is private property."

However, that is not the law in California.

In litigation involving the Fashion Valley mall, in a case that went all the way up to the California Supreme Court, it was ruled that peaceful demonstrators has a constitutional right to protest on private property that is open to the public.

Ignoring the law, Baas called the sheriff when the APRL demonstrators showed up.

Deputy sheriff Craig Sakowski responded and rejected the restaurant's complaint.He told the APRL's attorney Pease and leader Kath Rogers that "I'm not going to make you leave."

In an interview with San Diego News Service, Baas called the APRL demonstrators "unAmerican" because - in these bad economic times - they were hurting his new business.

All the restaurant's window shades and blinds were tightly closed.

Several potential diners drove up, saw the large APRL demonstration, then drove off.

Some passing cars sounded their car horns in support. One driver shouted "Foie gras is a terrible thing!"

During a very brief encounter between co-owner Baas and the APRL's attorney Pease, the lawyer said firmly, We will be back as long as foie gras is on your menu.


Earlier this year, the APRL demonstrated at the 3-story Jack's La Jolla (see photo).

"Jack's La Jolla has just become the most recent of many San Diego area restaurants that have removed the controversial fatty-duck liver (foie gras) made by force feeding," an APRL news release reports.

Some fashionable restaurants are trying to avoid being targeted by the APRL's demonstrations by taking foie gras off their printed menus, but nonetheless offering it to diners on request.

The recent issue of San Diego Lawyer gives an "inside tip" that Avenue 5 restaurant at 2760 Fifth Avenue in the Park West neighborhood offers foie gras, but you have to ask for it.

"Chef Colin MacLaggan loves the ability to share a different take daily on foie gras; but, like most chefs in San Diego, keeps it off the menu," the San Diego Lawyer magazine reports.

Earlier this year, the San Diego City Council unanimously passed a resolution commending the APRL for exposing the cruelty of foie gras, commending restaurants that have removed it, and urging all San Diegans to boycott the fatted-duck delicacy.

The APRL is rapidly escalating its area-wide campaign against foie gras. A protest demonstration is scheduled to hit the Hotel del Coronado on Dec. 13th at 7 p.m.

More information about the APRL's activities can be found on-line at http://www.aprl.org/, or by calling its Hillcrest office at (619) 236-8991.
Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service, Phone news tips to (619) 757-4909, Fax at (619) 220-8686 or on-line at leopowerhere@msn.com


At December 1, 2008 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous mapquest said...

Blanca is in Solana Beach not Encinitas.

At July 21, 2009 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, that's SolanA Beach, not "Solano." please get your facts straight before publishing. typical of non-local writers to not even get the town spellings right.


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